I'm more than happy to watch any movie Sam Neill is in, and he's done some beauties. Dead Calm, Death in Brunswick, The Piano, The Dish, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Rams and of course, Hunt for Red October and the Jurassic Park franchise (and many many more!)
But even though Sam Neill is one of my favourite actors, (I do wish he'd get the opportunity to play a few bad guys,) I didn't see the sci-fi movie "Event Horizon", which was set in 2047, when it first screened in 1997.
It was around 2006 that I came across the movie in a DVD rental store. I noticed very early on that his shoulder patch flag was unusual. It was the gold disc that first grabbed my attention. At first I wondered why he was wearing the Aboriginal flag, as I didn't think he was playing an Australian Aborigine.
I then paused the movie and looked closer and realised it wasn't just the Aboriginal Flag. It was the Australian flag, with the Australian Aboriginal flag replacing the British Union Jack.
"Wow, that's very cool!" I don't recall the movie as being great science fiction, but the flag did make made a great first impression.
I don't recall having seen it prior to that, so I am crediting Sam with the design It turns out, from what I have been able to find, that Sam Neill made a request for the design himself. He requested that it be done, "The way he thought it should look in 2047.”
Does anyone recall seeing this prior to the movie in 1997? Am I right to assume that Sam the the first to do this?
But after a while it didn't feel right, and I didn't really understand why. As I dwelt on Sam's design I started to realise two things why it didn't work for me;
First, while it was Australian, it was still somebody else's flag and regardless, it didn't feel right swapping out one flag for another.
Secondly, he'd taken the Aboriginal flag and used it in another fashion from what it was intended. And on reflection, this actually disturbed me more. While his intention was good -- and this is my opinion -- it was one more time where whitefella took blackfella's property without permission.
It's been done too often in the past in so many different ways. Maybe it's time to stop.
However, if Sam did get permission from the designer Harold Thomas before using it, then please forgive my criticism, but I couldn't find any source that said he did.
Now, do think there is a possibility this flag could work as an Australian Flag? Yes, I do.
But before we move to that, let's first have a sit down with Aboriginal people, first the elders, and then the Aboriginal community and actually talk with them. It is after all the Aboriginal flag.
It's time whitefella asks blackfella if they are OK to see their flag used in this fashion, and if they agree, then, and only then, do we look to put Sam Neil's Event Horizon flag in a competition for the new flag. I have no doubt it will be a popular choice.
And while I said, there is a possibility this flag could work as an Australian Flag, it is not my preferred design. (And ironic it was designed by a Kiwi! Hey Sam, here's back at ya with two flags -- an Aussie's version of an Aotearoa flag and the Challenge Flag.
Simply, I don't want another to see another flag on the Australian Flag -- even the Aboriginal Flag -- no matter who it belongs to, or what the intention is.
I want to see our flag with our sporting colours of green and Gold.
I want an Australian flag that is unique.
But Sam Neill was right about one thing. In 25 years time, in 2047, Australia will have a new flag. Love ya mate!